SUMMER SONGS 2013: CHOIMATIC

George Michael Listen Without Pr 272983

(Editor’s note: It’s time to bring back the Summer Songs after two seasons off. Our first guest is Moe Choi aka DJ Choimatic. I’ve known Moe for years, back when he was a big presence in the NY hip-hop club scene but in more recent years, Moe has branched out into everything from swanked-out weddings to Fashion Week runway shows to, you know, DJing parities on the roof of The Met. He’s got Billy Danze’s number on speed dial and the inside lane on YSL couture; […]

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93 TIL + MORE

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(93 ‘Til line from Hiero + Adapt)

Question from Morgan: What would you rank as the top three albums you enjoyed in the last ten years that would have surprised the guy you were back in 2003? Follow up: Same question, but for the guy you were in 1993.

Answer: The 2003-2013 question is hard to answer in the way you’re asking if only because 2003 marked an important shift in my thinking about/relationship to music. It was the year I re-embraced pop music in a profound way, […]

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2012 REWIND: FOUR MORE

It’s probably not a coincidence that these four were the least easy to “categorize” and therefore, ended up by their lonesome…except to keep company with one another. Don’t call them afterthoughts though – all were heavy in the rotation this past year.

NA NA HEY HEY, BREAKS BREAKS

For real…I thought I didn’t like this song much, (mostly) because A) it’s overplayed way too much at sporting events and B) much as I like “the hook = the song” this pushes things a bit too far. But that said, “Na Na Hey Hey” has a delicious backstory that I’m still not 100% clear on except to say that the group “Steam” never really existed outside of this song and supposedly, it was built from a drum track from a previous single by one of the core songwriters.1

The thing is though…I totally forgot that the song […]

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IN THE JUNGLE, BABE

My latest KCET piece is on the new spate of record stores that have opened in L.A. over the last few years, many of which are out in my neck of the woods on the eastside. Of the batch, my favorite has been the Record Jungle, Andy Perez’s spot out in Montebello. As I suggest in the piece, it’s got an old mom-and-pop feel to it but Andy knows his soul, funk and Latin records on par with the best, upper-end boutiques. His is like the best of all worlds and over the last […]

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2012 REWIND: FIVE SONGS THAT LEFT ME BANGING ON THE DASHBOARD (IN VIDEO FORM)

Was there a more striking video this year (not featuring a Korean rapper rodeo-dancing)?

Every year or so, Nas releases a song that makes you think, “OMG, Nas is back!” And of course, he’ll then go on and disappoint us but I still that moment where I still believe. I’m still hoping to figure out what the sample that begins the third verse is.

I owe my discovery of the Alabama Shakes to friend/colleague Ann Powers who wrote about them on NPR early on. I wasn’t as floored with the album but this cut […]

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SINGLE SERVINGS: BUDAPEST BOOGIE

Atlas
One of the more interesting things I picked up at the Groove Merchant last month was this 7″ on Hungary’s Qualiton imprint.1 I only have a handful of Hungarian records, all of it prog-rock, but it’s always been an intriguing sound: strong rhythms, big horn sections, and usually a drummer playing their ass off.

Here’s the single I got at the GM:

Atlasz: Töröld le a könnyeidet
From 7″ (Quality, 1970). Also on Töröld Le a Könnyeidet!

Before Cool Chris even played it for me, he […]

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MY SUMMER PLAYLIST

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This is the first year where I’m putting the Summer Songs series on hold – too much else going on – but that doesn’t mean my summer listening has disappeared or anything. The thing is though…in any given summer, my heaviest rotation songs are almost never from that actual summer and 2012 (so far) is no different. Here’s the top rundown:

Lianne La Havas: Is Your Love Big Enough?
From digital single (Nonesuch, 2012)

Lily Allen: Smile (Mark Ronson Revisit)
From internet single (2007)

Cloud Control: Just For Now
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BO DIDDLEY: THE BLACK GLADIATOR TAKES THE RING


Bo Diddley: You, Bo Diddley
Power House
Funky Fly
I Don’t Like You
From Black Gladiator (Checker, 1970)

Bo Diddley’s “Crackin’ Up” is a perfect song.  Right away, the guitar yanks you in, then the shakers and harmonies, then it’s all Bo proving why he’s ultimately the centerpiece to all his music.  It’s an early Diddley joint (1959) and is nothing like the Bo captured on the new reissue of his The Black Gladiator.

Gone are glasses and bowties. He instead looks like an extra on the set of Mad […]

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DONNIE AND JOE EMERSON: (STILL) LIVIN’ THE DREAM

(originally posted 1/21/10)

Donnie and Joe Emerson
Give Me the Chance
Baby
From Dreamin’ Wild (Enterprise and Co, 1979)

This is one of those LPs that helps one understand why people bother to even look for records to begin with.

The cover screams bargain bin. Actually, it screams “so bad it’s good” that even bloggers show it love for being so bad.

But here’s the crazy thing…the actual album sounds nothing like you’d expect it to. Had the album had two loner, folk rock types, you could better understand how the Emerson brothers put […]

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